INDEPENDENT NEWS

“Environment Minister to launch Wai Care”

Published: Tue 19 Sep 2000 01:00 PM
“Environment Minister to launch Wai Care”
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18th September 2000
Minister for the Environment Marion Hobbs will officially launch Wai Care – Auckland’s community water quality monitoring, education and action programme – at Point Chevalier’s Pasadena Intermediate School on Saturday, 23rd September.
Following a successful six month pilot programme involving 13 community groups and schools around Auckland, Wai Care is now ready to be extended across the wider region.
“The pilot has refined aspects of the project and increased community interest in it. We are delighted with the number of groups now wanting to be involved,” Wai Care chairperson John McEwing says.
“With a number of groups getting ready to sign up we can definitely say that Wai Care is coming to a stream or waterway near you.”
Modelled on similar successful programmes overseas, Wai Care is a joint project initiated and overseen by staff from the Auckland Regional Council, Auckland City Council, North Shore City Council, Manukau City Council and Waitakere City Council.
“Wai Care was developed to counter the serious threat of pollution that Auckland’s streams and waterways face,” Wai Care’s Mr McEwing says.
“However, it is not just about water testing, Wai Care is also about education and empowerment. Through learning more about how streams become polluted Wai Care groups can educate their local communities, industry and business on how to ‘clean up their act’ and prevent water pollution.”
“It empowers community groups, schools and others to take responsibility for their small yet important part of the environment and to initiate change.”
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Wai Care provides participating groups with the means to regularly monitor the water quality in their adopted stream. Their findings will be mapped on a website database accessible to the groups themselves and the general public.
Mr McEwing says, Wai Care has the potential to become something of a model for other nationwide programmes.
“There is no doubt that Auckland’s streams are under threat but Wai Care is an important start to addressing these problems in the 21st century,” he says.
“It’s important to remember we can all make a difference if we clean up our act.”
To find out more check out the Wai Care web site http://waicare.org.nz
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Note: The Wai Care groups that have been participating in the pilot are:
 Otara Lake Liaison Committee and Hillary College
 Friends of the Whau and Kelston Boys High
 Meola Creek Eco-Care and Pasadena Intermediate School
 Friends of Sherwood and Northcross Intermediate School
 Kaipatiki Ecological Restoration Project and Glenfield College
 Keep Okura Green and Long Bay College
 Auckland Girls Grammar School
For further information please call:
Jami Williams
Auckland Regional Council
Ph. 366 2000 ext 8183
Mobile 021 2544246
John McEwing
North Shore City Council
Ph. 486 8651

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